Published: 4 years ago

Why Does It Matter?

This’ll surprise you, but I had a lot of pet peeves in college: my roommate who ate nothing but Top Shelf brand spaghetti and meatballs (unheated). Friends in the cafeteria who would grab my ice cream cone and bite off the bottom. P.E. credits.

But maybe my biggest pet peeve was the beginning of every. single. textbook that had the obligatory “Why This Subject Is Important” chapter. You know the ones: 30 pages dedicated to previewing the material and telling you why you should give your semester to the passion for and absorption of all things Near Eastern Archeology.

I didn’t care about chapter one. I already knew why the subject mattered: if I wanted to pass the class, the subject mattered. End of story. Let’s get to chapter two and get this thing over with.

But what may not have been true for Phoenician topographical zones is certainly true for your volunteer teams: they need to know that what they do matters. 

If teams don’t see the “win” behind their weekly service, their commitment will lag. If they don’t understand the why behind the what, the quality will suffer. If they simply see their role as an inconsequential checkbox, they’ll eventually burn out.

So how do you help your teams see that what they do matters? I’m so glad you asked:

  1. Cast vision in your orientations. Give the big picture for what you’re asking them to do. Paint with broad strokes and bright colors, and help them to get a clearer focus for the job that lies ahead.
  2. Cast vision in your ongoing training. Return to your “wins” often. Remind your team in pep talks, in emails, in coaching, in on-the-job training. Remind them of why they do what they do.
  3. Cast vision in your appreciation. Thank your teams often, and when you do, tie your gratitude to the 30k foot view. Show them how their “one thing” contributes to the ultimate goal of your church: to see people come to faith in Jesus.

I’m sure you picked up on the common theme running through those three tips: vision. Vision has to permeate everything you do. Vision has to drip into every conversation. Vision has to be applied at every turn. Our pastor says often, “When I’m sick and tired of communicating the vision, our people are just beginning to hear it.”

How will you communicate the vision this week?


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  1. By Danny Franks | How to Force a Volunteer to Care on January 17, 2017 at 8:45 am

    […] This is your Vince Lombardi “Gentlemen, this is a football” speech. You have to remind your team of the fundamentals from time to time. It might help to remind yourself of those fundamentals from time to time. Sometimes volunteers just need a refresher course to get back on track. [Related post: Why Does It Matter?] […]

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